The premise which inspired "Distant Signals" is guaranteed to ignite the inspiration of anyone who has loved the characters of a TV series. Mr. Smith (Lenny Von Dohlen), an otherworldly visitor, approaches the creator of a 1965 detective series (David Margulies) which was canceled in mid-season. This "fan" offers him $2 million - in gold - to write and direct six more episodes, including a vital series finale, which will remove the wandering hero from "limbo." Darren McGavin, with heartbreaking pathos, portrays the actor who is physically and metaphysically transformed from an aging dead-drunk bartender into his former self as a mythic star. This peculiarly "impossible," yet patently real idea glows with magic and life as an example of how a mere half hour installment of a small screen anthology can represent "the height of televisual art."